It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language
is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles
to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. (Orwell 1).
The contemporary way of communication presupposes a huge variety of different means for making the idea clear for those to whom the message is addressed. In this respect the implementation of IM messaging is outlined to have a place within communication provided by modern people. It means that virtual way of contacting became more popular in contrast with previous years. The quality of language is measured in its ability to express the meaning of the intentions implied in the written form, in particular. It is known that scholars looking at the situation with the communication between teenagers and youngsters on the whole via the Internet and cell phones. The major worries touch upon the danger of language loss within next generations. The purity of the English language is performed with an age-old history of it. The paper seeks to make emphasis on the difference between e-mail, blog, chat messages addressed to parents compared to friends. For this purpose two articles by eminent linguists, George Orwell and Gloria E. Jacobs, will be outlined. This will be an analysis of how the intentional coloring maintained and provided toward elder people differs from suchlike intentions toward peers.
Today, when the tempos of technological and scientific innovations grow every now and then, the ability to stay in touch by all means increased. Even without the presence of an individual it is possible now to contact him/her. Such progress makes possible the idea of Instant Messages (IM) proper for modern mankind. In this respect the intentional desire of communication participants to shorten the language graphically is chosen to be the quickest way of sharing thoughts and opinions on-line. It is an issue of great concern for today, and most of the people do not imagine their life without the amenities of scientific and technological approach toward communication. Furthermore, human beings have already had time to implement such way of communication into different spheres of their lives. Business is built today on making idea exchange by means of IM messages. All in all, the world is full of information which should be saved or accumulated after being shared. For making this process more improved people invented in the early 1990s IM. The way of how people express their thoughts and in what form it is represented does not exclude the moral implementations of attitudinal characteristics of communication between people of different age groups or even generations.
The thing is that a respectful attitude toward people being elder than a definite person relies on the behavioral traits being developed in the historical cut while living in the society. Thereupon, literature is one of the main “educators” for people of all epochs. Gloria E. Jacobs notes in her article: “The literature demonstrates that literacy practices such as IM are part of the unsettled relationships between in- and out-of-school literacies” (Jacobs 204). Here one should understand the point of language transformations under different circumstances. In other words, people are living with several “attitudinal masks” for place of education, work, friends, parents etc. It is used due to finding out the benefits after communication and in order not to do harm current reputation in different communities.
George Orwell in this respect encourages finding out the means of better communication without any attempt to forget the native language in its purity and originality (Orwell 4). Thus, the writer intends people to stimulate their speech and written language being appropriate in terms of human factor and principles maintained in the society. Youngsters in most cases are afraid of making an attempt to behave with parents the same way as with peers. It is so due to a fear to be rejected and blamed by rather experienced people. Suchlike mechanism works in the Internet chats, where every possibility of a user to demonstrate a piece of misbehavior can be banned at once. Thus, it makes a difference between using inappropriate language somewhere in the backstreets and in public places or dimensions of huge concentration of human beings.
The explanation of so great popularity of IM within youngsters can be given in the framework of a versatile outlook on cultures and subcultures, particularly. IM, as literature language, has not only notional function. It also serves as a tool for making people unite (Jacobs 206). In fact, no one wants to be outside the borders of communication with people. In turn no one wants to be out of communities. This concern is proper for every individual in terms of whether to follow approaches and principles of the public opinion or not. However, a user should not just pick up words for making a bit of a whole picture about subject of the discussion (Orwell 13).
On the other hand, communicating via Internet and searching for a community which fits a man’s interest best is a process of personal development. In other words, for example, IM makes people successful and modern (or progressive) socially (Jacobs 206). The only outrageous thing for many scholars as of IM is considered with its attitude toward academic writing (Jacobs 207). This is why many teenagers do not like when their communication is interrupted by adult lengthy IM. In this respect George Orwell would definitely raise an objection against such an attitude to English. From the other side of the discussion, Orwell would admit that it is significant for IM to be a mean for good communication. Supporting this idea the writer underlines: “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity” (Orwell 18). What is more, the principles of etiquette are still present in information environment. As a matter of fact, language is alive when it is spoken. In return, it is spoken when its units and significant features are carried out. That is why in e-mailing, chatting, and blogging younger generations do not want to just share ideas, they also want to have fun. This outlines the idea that it is rather convenient for them to communicate with peers, with whom there is no ‘generation gap’. In other words, youngsters are apt to express more ideas in different variants of language, slang, jargon, even by means of four-letter words when they are lively discussing a definite topic. In case with parents or adults there appears an understanding of social norms of language appropriate for elder people. Though, language becomes more complicated while it is addressed by a young man to an adult. This difference is the main touch in determination of language prospects in terms of its direction toward people of different age parameters.
Tradition and imitation are main factors being influential for bad usage of language even if a man really knows how to speak right (Orwell 18). George Orwell allegedly points out, in fact, that writing skills in different dimensions of communication between people are needful just to be capable to become familiar with cultural points of this or that group of people. Being an insider within a community of people is a reason for making discussion wider. Nevertheless, following the guidelines of different styles and genres of writing and being aware of them are helpful in order to adapt youngsters writing to different situations (Jacobs 208). This is why writing skills should be developed by means of in-school studying, and then a student can operate knowledge of writing, so that to accomplish it in a form of genre and style peculiarities presupposed in e-mail, chat, blog, social networking etc. All in all, there is no danger to lose language due to its shortening and using inappropriate structure for making ideas connected: “Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority” (Orwell 19).
To sum up, the difference between the manners of communication provided toward peers and elder people in e-mailing, chatting, and blogging constitutes the urge for being understood correctly. In case with parents and elder people it presupposes that understanding of a message can be achieved, when it is performed in the right wording without any biased words or abbreviations. While communicating with peers there is a more versatile scope of words usage. Thus, it does not harm the English language, but only serves as a means for peculiar discussion.
Orwell, George. Politics and the English Language. 1946.
Jacobs, Gloria E. ‘We Learn What We Do: Developing a Repertoire of Writing Practices in an Instant Messaging World’. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 52(3). 2008.